The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today added Binance.com — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading value — to its Investor Alert List, according to local media reports.
- MAS’ Investor Alert List flags entities that are unregulated, but may have given the public the impression that they are licensed by MAS.
- In response to a request for comments, a Binance spokesperson told Forkast.News that Binance.com was aware of the MAS notice and was “actively working with the MAS to address concerns that they may have through constructive dialogue.”
- The Binance spokesperson clarified that Binance.com and Binance Singapore (Binance.sg) are separate exchanges. “Binance.sg operates in Singapore with its own local executive and management team. Binance Singapore is backed by Vertex Venture Holdings and is solely focused on growing the Singapore cryptocurrency ecosystem and servicing users in Singapore,” the Binance spokesperson said. Vertex Holdings is a Singapore-based venture capital investment holding company owned by the state investment firm Temasek Holdings.
- According to the Binance spokesperson, the MAS notice “has no direct impact on the services provided on Binance Singapore. Our relationship with our users has not changed.” Binance Singapore currently operates as Binance Asia Services (BAS) under an exemption from holding a license as part of transitional arrangements under the city-state’s Payment Services Act (PS Act) for the provision of digital payment token services. The exemption allows entities to provide services while their license applications are being processed, and will cease when an entity’s license application is approved, rejected or withdrawn. “BAS’ license application remains under review, subject to it demonstrating that it is able to meet requirements under the PS Act,” a MAS spokesperson told Forkast.News in an email today.
- The MAS spokesperson said: “As Binance did not apply for a license under the PS Act, MAS has listed Binance.com on the Investor Alert List (IAL), to warn consumers in Singapore that Binance is not regulated or licensed in Singapore to provide any payment services. Binance is required to cease providing payment services which are regulated under the PS Act to Singapore residents and cease soliciting such business from Singapore residents.” MAS “expects BAS to immediately begin an orderly suspension of its facilitation of transfers of digital payment token assets between BAS and Binance. BAS will inform its customers of the appropriate arrangements as soon as practicable.”
- Last week, Binance Singapore announced the appointment of Richard Teng, former chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), as chief executive, in a move to bolster its leadership ranks with former regulators as Binance battles with growing regulatory scrutiny around the world.
- Amid Binance’s regulatory and legal troubles, the U.S. arm of Binance could have an initial public offering in the next three years, according to a report by The Information on Wednesday. In an interview with The Information, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also said Binance.US was set to close on a large private fundraising round in the next two months that should reduce his control of the board. Last month, Brian Brooks, a former U.S. Acting Comptroller of the Currency, resigned as CEO of Binance U.S., just three months into the job. “Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success, Brooks tweeted. Brooks was chief legal officer at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase from September 2018 to March 2020.
The article has been updated to include the comments from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
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